Tinseltown Riff centers on Ben Prine, a thirty-something Hollywood screenwriter who, on a Labor Day weekend, finds himself in desperate straits. Latching on to a dubious last-minute opportunity, he unwittingly embarks on a collision course with a Montana tracker connected with a Vegas mob; an odyssey which culminates in a showdown on an abandoned Western movie set.
~ Premier Virtual Author BT
If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
What would you say inspired you to write it?
There is something about our loopy celebrity culture that kept working on me. Especially when I visited my relatives in L.A. and, at the same time, was researching my book on screenwriting and could hardly find anyone anywhere who either wasn’t writing a screenplay or trying to break into the movie business. I guess the last straw was the machinations of the mother of my nephew’s best friend who was trying to shop her son on the Jay Leno show as the world’s youngest oldest virgin.
What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?
In a sense, Ben is my alter ego. For years I’ve wondered what would have become of me if I had chosen to stick it out in show business rather than opting for a normal life as a college professor. Deke springs from a number or sources including a roommate in Tucson who once let me in on the news he was on parole after a hold up in the same town where Billy the Kid once robbed and “had himself a high old time.”
Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
I’ve had periods of time when I just plain didn’t feel like writing. But not long after something begins to stir and I find myself wondering and daydreaming. Lots of times it seems to happen when I’m in a new place and all kinds of possibilities begin to open up.
Your all time favorite book?
Catcher in the Rye is not exactly my favorite but it did have a real influence on me.
What made you pick that one above all others?
During a time when we were called the silent generation, I suddenly realized we each had a special voice that was being repressed, an inner spirit that needed to be released.
What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
Actually “Tinseltown” took a long time to develop. It started out as a play but didn’t fly because I didn’t have the freedom to follow at least four or five characters’ evolving inner and outer adventures.
Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
I’ve had the freedom to create anywhere without having to rely on a theater space, casting, or the whims and hang-ups of actors, etc. I can always share my work and never have to say “gosh, I wish you could have seen it.” I am always a writer.
How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
It’s an old saying but you have to consider the source. Of course, if you keep getting the same kind of negative response—I couldn’t follow it, I couldn’t get into it, I just plain didn’t care—it’s time to go back to the drawing board and try to do better next time.
What do you have store for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
I’m deeply engaged in a more serious crime caper this time. Jed, a wayward handyman, finds himself caught up in the untimely death of a whimsical sweet lady choreographer and shadowy elements of organized crime.
If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
Perfect, blissful health.
Name your favorite fruit.
Ruby red grapefruit.
4. Coffee or tea?
A deeply blended coffee.
The promise of spring.
How about fav time of 24 hours?
The break of dawn.
Were you a boy scout/girlscout?
I was a boy scout for a short time but I can’t for the life of me remember why.
Latest book you’ve bought and read?
The Book of Awakening.
Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
Drama or comedy?
Well written provocative drama.
Have a fav quote or personal motto?
“All art is result of having been in danger. Of going as far as one can go and beyond.”
Cats or dogs?
A golden-doodle by the name of Baxter.
About the Author & Links:
Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer of mysteries, books on theater and film, and articles on the performing arts appearing in a number of periodicals in the U.S. and the U.K. He is also a film critic and a contributor to writers’ blogs.
His fiction includes Lilac Moon, Sun Dance for Andy Horn, the trans-Atlantic cozy The Twinning Murders and Twilight of the Drifter, a southern gothic crime-and-blues odyssey. Among his works of non-fiction are the acclaimed The Actors Studio and texts on the art and craft of screenwriting and writing for the stage. Tinseltown Riff, his latest novel, is both a social commentary and a Hollywood crime caper.